It’s that time of year when the new crop of two-year-olds are stepping out for the first time and all eyes will be on the progeny of young sires who will be represented by their first runners.
As their racing careers are now a fading memory, it would be more than appropriate to recall the credentials of the more prominent newcomers.
Gr1 Computaform Sprint winner Rafeef, an Australian-bred son of stallion standout Redoute’s Choice and former South African Horse of the Year National Colour, proved extremely popular with local breeders when he retired to Ridgemont Highlands in 2017.
His first crop, which includes siblings to the Gr1 winning sprinters August Rush and Normanz, as well as foals out of champion Laverna and Gr1 winner Bambina Stripes, made quite a splash at the sales, the general consensus amongst buyers being that he physically stamps them, yet they are quite scopey.
Rafeef has already had a runner in the shape of Star Of The West, who reached the frame when third in the very first baby race of the season, an 800m scurry up the Turffontein straight.
Another young stallion who ticks all the boxes is champion Red Ray.
He too excelled as a sprinter and mixed it up with the best in a career spanning four seasons, capped by Gr1 honours in the Mercury Sprint. Boasting a pedigree out of the very top drawer, Red Ray is by champion Western Winter out of blue hen mare Nacarat, whose numerous liaisons with the Lammerskraal standout also yielded Gr1 winner Nania, Gr2 winners Brutal Force and Bishops Bounty and the Listed winner Valor Red.
Red Ray stands at the famous Vogel Vlei Stud and as young studmaster Colin Birch remarked: ““He’s a speed machine who oozes class. If his foals look like him and can run like him, he will have a great chance at stud.”
Klawervlei Stud will be hopeful of Cape Guineas winner William Longsword stepping into the shoes of his much-missed champion sire Captain Al.
The handsome bay was lightly-raced, facing the starter just eight times for six wins, prime amongst which a half-length success in the Gr1 Cape Guineas.
Bred on the proven Captain Al x Fort Wood cross, he is out of Victory Moon’s half-sister Pagan Princess, a successful broodmare who is also the dam of Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint victress Real Princess and Wolf Power 1600 hero, Silver God.
Trippi’s son Gold Standard chased home William Longsword in the Cape Guineas after claiming the Gr2 Selangor Cup and the Listed Racing Association Stakes.
A R750 000 yearling who scored all three wins over a mile, he appropriately joined his sire at Drakenstein Stud in 2017. He likewise has a female line out of the top drawer. His dam Olympic Dam is a Model Man daughter of the mighty racemare Olympic Duel, a seven-time Gr1 winner and one of a rare number of fillies to defeat the colts in the Cape Guineas.
An own sister to champion Dancing Duel, she proved that was no fluke with splendid victories in the Met, Mainstay International and Champion Stakes.
Moutonshoek’s regally-bred The United States is a Gr1-winning son of Galileo, sire also of last season’s leading freshman sire Global View. A debut winner at two and a Gr3 winner at three in Ireland, he was sent to Australia, where he acquitted himself admirably at the elite level, winning the Gr1 Ranvet Stakes.
Out of a brilliantly fast daughter of Pivotal, this full-brother to two exceptional fillies in Irish and English 1000 Guineas queen Hermosa and the dual Gr1 winner Hydrangea, hails from the family of champion sprinter/miler and successful sire Last Tycoon.
Admiral Kitten who started his career at Moutonshoek alongside The United States, now stands at David Southey’s Southford Stud.
An unbeaten juvenile, he scored a career-defining victory in the Gr1 Secretariat Stakes on turf. From the Sadler’s Wells sire line, he is by champion American stallion Kitten’s Joy whose speciality have been turf runners, while his female line is that of successful sire Cozzene.
German champion Quasillo, a three-part brother blood to Querari, is the only son of European champion and successful sire Sea The Stars at stud in South Africa.
The lightly-raced chestnut scored twice in a career confined to just three starts.
Successful in the Gr3 Bavaria Classic, he was injured when favourite for the Gr1 German Derby but returned at four to run second in the Gr3 Maxios Trophy. Considering he’s by an Epsom Derby winner and won over 2000 and 2400m, it looks unlikely that his progeny will contest the first baby races!